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7 September, 2020

Discretionary Support Commissioner confirms that policy review of scheme will examine merits of different income thresholds for individuals and families

Annual report on the Northern Ireland scheme welcomes move to address the ‘at best unfair and at worst discriminatory’ single threshold

4 September, 2020 Open access

Treatment of COVID-19 payments and grants to self-employed people in calculating entitlement to tax credits

New statutory instrument

4 September, 2020

Chair of Lords Economic Affairs Committee highlights ‘counterproductive’ nature of sanctions regime and the ‘severe implications for people’s mental health and well-being’ that it causes

Conservative Peer Lord Forsyth also echoes concerns of those from other parties that the government has 'placed far too much emphasis on enforcing strict obligations on claimants through the threat of sanctions'

4 September, 2020

People unable to access benefits because of the government’s ‘hostile environment’ are at greater risk of destitution, homelessness, exploitation in work, and domestic abuse

New report from IPPR finds evidence of malnutrition, cramped and substandard accommodation, and mental ill-health among undocumented migrant families unable to access public funds

4 September, 2020

Scottish Government confirms it has tabled amendments to the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 to allow for both the suspension and non-payment of devolved benefits in prescribed circumstances

However, Cabinet Secretary for Social Security says the provisions ‘are not intended and will not be used in a punitive way’

4 September, 2020 Open access

DWP confirms that reviews and reassessments of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit remain suspended and no face-to-face assessments are taking place

However, Minister also advises that claims continue to be processed, and decisions made as normal, for claimants with the most serious or terminal conditions

3 September, 2020

Peers call for power that enables Ministers to modify EU social security co-ordination regulations to be removed from the Immigration and Social Security Bill

Select Committee also warns that the Bill’s use of ‘vague and subjective language’ relating to powers to end free movement ‘undermines fundamental elements of the rule of law’

3 September, 2020

Final Work Choice statistics show that less than a quarter of participants over the programme’s nine-year lifespan achieved a job outcome of 26 weeks or more

New DWP statistics also show that just over a third of participants achieved a ‘short job outcome’

3 September, 2020

Number of children in absolute poverty in Northern Ireland increased by 5 per cent during 2018/2019

New statistics from the Department for Communities also show that income inequality increased in the same period following four consecutive years of decreases

2 September, 2020

Work and Pensions Committee to question government’s preferred candidate for Chair of the Social Security Advisory Committee

Pre-appointment hearing with Director of Policy at the Legatum Institute and member of the UK Social Metrics Commission to be held next week

2 September, 2020

Universal credit IT system is designed for and works well for ‘simple cases’, but less well for those with specific needs, head of the NAO tells MPs

If the DWP is to understand its customer base in more detail, it needs a structured approach to collecting data about vulnerable claimants, Mr Davies adds

2 September, 2020

Scottish Government confirms that carer’s allowance supplement and young carer grant can be ‘exported’ in line with EU social security coordination rules

Cabinet Secretary for Social Security says regulations will be laid at the end of the October recess

2 September, 2020

Scottish Government introduces Bill to incorporate UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into domestic law

Bill will ensure that children's rights are always 'respected, protected and fulfilled' by public authorities, says Deputy First Minister

2 September, 2020

Ending DWP’s temporary power to enact social security legislation on behalf of the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly

New statutory instrument

2 September, 2020

DWP confirms that it plans to have 25 Senior Safeguarding Leaders in place by Autumn 2020

However, Minister declines to comment on progress of Safeguarding Policy Review 'due to current legal proceedings'

1 September, 2020 Open access

Poverty and Inequality Commission questions whether Scottish Welfare Fund has been used to maximum benefit during coronavirus pandemic

Highlighting that only 15 per cent of annual budget was used during first quarter of 2020/2021, Commission makes recommendations to enable Fund to operate more effectively

1 September, 2020 Open access

Number of new PIP claims in Northern Ireland reduced by more than 50 per cent in May 2020 compared to same month last year

New Department for Communities statistics, that cover initial period of coronavirus outbreak, also show a reduction of almost 90 per cent in mandatory reconsideration requests

1 September, 2020 Open access

Scottish Social Security Committee launches inquiry into role of Scotland’s social security system in social and economic recovery from COVID-19

Committee seeks 'innovative and workable' solutions to combat the impact of the pandemic